- Paedophile hunter group exchanged messages with 39-year-old man online
- He asked for pictures of her body and arranged to meet up for sex
- After being snared, he was handed over to police and jailed for 17 months
- His lawyer claims the conviction will put him in danger if he returns to Pakistan
Adil Sultan thought he was meeting a 14-year-old girl for sex but was caught by vigilantes
A Pakistani paedophile who claimed he didn't realise it was illegal to have sex with 14-year-olds intends to use his conviction for grooming to help him claim asylum in the UK.
Adil Sultan, 39, thought he was chatting to a schoolgirl online, where he encouraged her to send him explicit photos of herself and meet up with him for sex.
But he was actually exchanging messages with the vigilante group Guardians of the North, who intercepted him and handed him over to the police.
He has now been jailed for 17 months after pleading guilty to attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming.
Newcastle Crown Court heard Sultan, who had posed as a 25-year-old and used a fake online name, believed 'it was ok' to have sex with a girl of 14.
He now claims his conviction means he cannot return to his homeland, as anger over a recent child rape case means it is now unsafe for him.
Instead, he plans to apply for asylum in the UK.
Footage shows Sultan being confronted by members of the Guardians group after he travelled from his home in Middlesbrough to Sunderland, thinking he was meeting a girl called Laura.
After he was handed over police and pleaded guilty to a charge, Judge Penny Moreland sentenced him to 17 months behind bars with ten years sex offender registration and sexual harm prevention order.
The judge told him: 'You used a false name. You said you were 25 when in fact you are 39.
'Very quickly Laura told you she was 14. Nonetheless, you went on to discuss having penetrative sexual activity with her.
'The conversation very quickly became sexual and you were asking for indecent images of herself.
'Your barrister tells me you thought it was OK to have sex with 14-year-olds.
That is no excuse and offers you no mitigation.'
Mohammed Rafiq, defending, said Sultan had gone on the site to look for adults and he had no intention of deliberately seeking a young person.
Messages which passed between Sultan and the person he thought was a young girl show her making clear her age and he asking her for photos of herself
Mr Rafiq said: 'He apologises to the court for his actions. He has brought shame upon himself and his family, who have found out about his circumstances because he has been in custody.
'He comes from a conservative country, Pakistan. The mood in that particular country is quite heated at the moment because a young girl, eight-years-old, was abducted and killed.
'He has instructed me that it would be unsafe for him to go back to his country and someone else is instructed to make an application for asylum.
That is another matter for another tribunal.'
Mr Rafiq said Sultan has never been in trouble before.
The lawyer added: 'He didn't understand. Obviously each country is different.'
Judge Moreland asked Mr Rafiq to clarify that it was the fact that it was not OK to have sex with 14-year-olds that Sultan did not understand.
Mr Rafiq replied: 'He did not understand that.'